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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 16, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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by tomorrow morning, we will have an idea as to hopefully some of the school questions here in the community. we will be in contact with the superintendent and hopefully some additional investigatory information. thank you, good afternoon. >> could you trace that phone call? >> we are working on that. >> you are listening to paul vance of the connecticut state police. i'm erin burnett with wolf blitzer. >> coming to you from newtown, connecticut. the pain is really, really great are the country, not only this up to but the country, indeed much of the world, mourns what has happened in this community. >> we were just hearing, wolf, lieutenant vance say this will probably be the last time we hear from him tonight but some of the latest things that he said, wolf that they still don't know the motive. they say that is going to come later. it is going to take them more time before they are able to talk about that and it is impossible to say how many shots were fired, wolf, but multiple high-cap pays the rounds, each magazine had about 30 shots and said hundreds of bullets at
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least. >> this connecticut state police lieutenant is doing an excellent job briefing us. he is being very precise on all of the details, he doesn't want to get ahead of the information that they have and so far, i have been very impressed. >> yes, ma'am to that point, they asked about nancy lanza, he says i don't know which gun she was shot with but does know it was the bushmaster the one used in the school, very specific and very careful so we know what we are getting is right. we are learning some new details about how the victims died and the ongoing investigation this afternoon. here is what we know right now. wolf, police say crime scene investigators wrapping up work in the parking lot of the sandy hook elementary school. work continues inside the school and as you just heard lieutenant vance talking about, there were three guns found next to the body of the suspected gunsman, 20-year-old adam lanza, he killed himself with the handgun and used the bushmaster ar 15 to shoot his victims. the semiautomatic rifle really was the main weapon used. we have also used that the 20 children killed inside the school were shot multiple times, every single one of them, wolf,
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was, of course, 6 or 7 years old. >> so heartbreaking to hear the details come out and to learn about these young kids. 20 of them. 6 and 7 years old. all first graders. six adults as well. president obama is on his way to newtown right now. he has touched down in connecticut a few minutes ago. he is not going to be able to chopper here, he will have to drive because of the inclement weather. he will meet with families and first responders then later tonight, he will speak at an interfaith vigil here in newtown. we are going to have live coverage of the service in its entirety. that will begin at 7 p.m. eastern. today, the families of the victims are grieving or starting to try to understand the horror of what has happened. during the time of sorrow, some are starting to remember, people are of an age, right you 6 and 7, what you do is bring joy to the people around you's lives.
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nick valencia is in our newsroom, some are starting to put pictures of their children online? >> yes, they are, erin, good afternoon to you, and wolf. erin, some of the families so far, as you can imagine have been very private about their loss but they still want us to know about their loved ones so some are issuing statements to us and slowly starting to put pictures of those kids. one of those families is a family of young olivia engel, 6 years old, as you can imagine, erin, devastating time for them a few weeks ago, they took these photos for christmas, for their holiday season cards, she loved school more than anything. she loved reading and math and she was especially active outside of the classroom as well. she played tennis. she went swimming you. she was in ballet and the daisy girl scouts. in a statement to cnn, the engel family said, "olivia's loss, physical loss, will be felt every day by those who love herd most but her sparkly spirit will live on."
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according to her father, brian, her favorite comers were pink and purple and every night, erin, every night, she sat at the dinner table and led grace for the family. she was just 6 years old, just a devastating time for the engle family. one other family that we have heard from is the family of jessica rekos. jessica 6 years old, the family, as you can imagine, did not want to talk at length about jessica's loss but did want her to be remembered. they also issued statement to cnn. i want to read that to you, they said "jessica loved everything about horses. she devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses and writing stories about horses. we had promised her she could have her very own horse when she turned 10. this year, she asked santa for a new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat. sheafs creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing her little brothers, travis and shane." right now, the rekos family is
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struggling to explain to their little brother, trav vicious why he can't play with his best friend anymore. earlier this year, 6-year-old jessica, one of her dreams came true, erin, she loved horses but she was also a big fan of whales and her family took her to seaworld. she got to see an orca whale in real life. but she -- those two victims, jessica rekos and olivia engel, two of the 6-year-olds taken too soon from us in the newtown, connecticut, shooting at sandy hook elementary schools. when the families reach out us to, we will get in touch with you, erin and wolf. >> nick, thanks very much t is interesting, some of these parents, they want to talk right now about their 6-year-old or their 7-year-old, at the time world how much they loved them. others want privacy, we respect, of course, that completely but they want us to see and learn about them. and very helpful n these kinds of tragedies, i have discovered over the years, people react in different ways. what's good for one parent is
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not necessarily good for another. >> people do grieve so differently. >> yeah. there's been some police activity in the alleged gunman's neighborhood. right now, allison does sic joining us with the latest information. allison what are you learning? >> reporter: what is interesting, we have been trying to confirm whether or not the neighborhood here are where adam lanza lived with his mother, nancy, where the scene has been cleared from the investigation. we haven't yet gotten confirmation on that, what happened i would say 20 minutes ago, about six police cars drove up here, about six officers got out, talked in the middle of the street behind merck got back into their cars and drove into the neighborhood. not sure exactly where they were headed. we can only assume they are headed to the lanza home or in that area. we are learning new information today about how the gunman got into sandy hook elementary. and it's interesting to hear these details. you have to remember the school had security in that you had to
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be buzzed in by -- around 9:30, the doors would be locked and you had to be buzzed in and the people inside the school could see on a security camera who would be trying to get into the door. we are learning from connecticut governor dan malloy that what this gunman did, and he is actually confirming what our sources have told us before what this gunman did was basically blast his way into the school, basically shoot an entrance, his own entrance into the building. here's more of what the governor had to say. >> what we know is he shot his way into the building, he penetrated -- wasn't buzzed in, penetrated by literally shooting an entrance into the building. that's what an assault weapon can do for you. we are, unfortunately, a violent society. >> reporter: as we learned in the news conference just a short time ago more about the weapons that the gunman mostly used or only used a bushmaster to mow
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down these kids to just massacre these kids and six adults inside this school, that he used that automatic weapon to do so inside the school and then turned the happened gun on himself. at the same time, we are learning more about what authorities doing to track these weapons. the atf has already traced the weapons. now, what federal agents are doing right now, they are chasing new leads, they are looking at 30 gun ranges. they are looking at 400 gun dealers in a four-county area surrounding newtown and what they are trying to do wolf, they are trying to figure out what this gunman was up to in the days leading up to this massacre. wolf? >> alison kosik with the latest on this part of the story. some questions that have to be answered. get a few of. they i suspect the next 24, 48 hours, we will get more. >> the big question is why and we don't note anticipate to that yes. across the country though, children may be having a hard time getting ready to go back to school. a lot of parents who are
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watching maybe kept their kids away from the television all weekend and are deciding now on how to talk to them. we are going to talk to a psychologist next about how to help children fe some of the fears they might have in the wake of the violence.
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. young students across the country preparing to go back to school for the first time since the massacre. so how do parents deal with any fears that the children may have? dr. charles sew city a psychiatrist and medical director for the los angeles county department of children and family services. dr. sophie, thanks very much for
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coming in. so what's the most important thing parents can say or do to alleviate any concerns for these young kids? >> make sure their emotional responses are intact and their children don't become frightened. you need to have that discussion. talk to the children, ask them what they know. if they don't know anything, give them an education what happened. no gory details and then listen. the key is to listen to your children and then answer age appropriate lit questions. but answers less never sex more information and listen to your children. > how do parents make sure they don't project their own fears onto the kids? >> i think there's several ways this parents can protect themselves and not worry that they are going to put onto their children their own fears and
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concerns and these by talking to each other as parents, talking to other parents and making sure that they have at least dealt with the fact that they can assure some safety to their children and that they, themselves, feel safe but dealing with some of the stuff by talking to other azults the only way they are going to be able to alleviate their own pressures and guilt and fear so they can listen to their children without projecting. >> what about the parents working together with their schools -- with the children's schools to make sure the kids feel safe? what should the parents be doing? >> it is important to group together so everybody is talking, processing this as a group so you limit the ability for rumors and for misinformation, miscommunication to get out there and everybody is on the same page. and your children aren't coming home with stories you can't explain. all parents together, unified as
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a community you are going to be better communicating together for their children and making more streamlined and consistent. and it really limits the ability for problems, rumors, anxiety and even more emotion to come out of this. >> sure, doctor there are some parents thought saying to themselves maybe i should keep my child home from school tomorrow they are afraid i god forbid, of a copycat or something like that. what do you say to these parent? >> i would tell them that those feelings are absolutely normal to have but please don't get trapped within the fear of that, because once you give into that, it's going to be very difficult to break that but i think it's important to discuss with your child, if you think they are going to be afraid to separate from you, and even if it's you afraid to separate from your child, do some transitional object type of thing. write a note they can keep with them, take a teddy bear to school with them, some way to allow them to stay connected to you emotionally and vice versa through the day will alleviate
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it for bothant and child. >> dr. charles sophy, thanks for that good advice, we appreciate it very much. >> thank you. thanks. check in with debra, feyerick, she has other top stories making news. today we will be back here in just a moment with more of the latest from the scene. a source tells cnn that house speaker john boehner has offered to include higher tax rates on people making $1 million in exchange for entitlement cuts. the white house is still holding to its $250,000 threshold. unless a deal is reached by january 1st practically everyone will be hit with a tax increase. it appears that president obama has tapped massachusetts senator john kerry as his next secretary of state. a source says the president may make the announcement later this week. kerry narrowly lost the president? i -- presidency in 2004 to
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george w. bush. he is a decorated veteran of the vietnam war. the state department gets a look at the details report about the attack on the consulate in benghazi, libya. secretary of state hillary clinton ordered this review. members of congress are scheduled to get the classified briefing on wednesday. clinton will not testify. she is recovering after a concussion from fainting due to dehydration. and as you prepare to send your children to school tomorrow, you may have to address some fears. our next guest will help us find ways to talk to our children about tragedy and look at ways that we all can move forward. from the best players in history to the number 1 club in the world. the potential of manchester united unlocked. nyse euronext. unlocking the world's potential. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years,
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explaining what happened here in newtown to your children or to any children can seem like a daunting tax, so as grownups, we don't know how to make sense out of what has happened here, never mind for a young child. vigils are taking place around the country, people are trying to understand, trying to beginning to heal.
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for children the process can be very different. you may know our next guest from reading rain boat. bring in la var burnt, the host of the pbs children's series. la var, thanks for taking the time. a lot of parents i know said so far this weekend, haven't told my children, i have kept them away from media and away from television because i didn't is know how to tell them if i should tell them. for those parents, should they tell their children because they could hear from parents or teachers? what do you do? >> without question. erin, thank you and wolf for the oppounity to be here. grated child psychologist on in the previous segment, not a child psychologist but i spend a lot of time communicating with kids and the experts say, yes, it is important for you as a parent to get out in front of this mess. an you control the mess arms if you don't, as soon as they hit school tomorrow, it is going to be controlled by kids who are just a little older than they
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are, your children. so, take the time tonight and i know that it's -- it's uncomfortable, especially when we, as parents, are still trying to process this ourselves. so, we have to have the courage to really have that difficult conversation with our kids and to, in an age-appropriate way. and you know your kids better than anybody in terms of what they can handle and what's the right language to use, what's the right framing for this thing that has happened to all of us, and listening to your kids is really, really important. >> levar to that, when you talk about listening to your kids you can wolf and i were talking moments ago, you tell some children, they may be silent and stoic and may be because they are bolting it up inside, whether they are afraid our upset but other kids may truly not be that affected by t as a parent it is so hard to know which category your child fall
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news. how do you try get the tone right and not take a child who suspect afraid and make them become afraid? >> it's democrats, isn't it? as much as we want to go and hug our kids you that, is the thing to do now, take some time to process your sself as parents. truthfully, take a bath, really. i mean, during times of trauma, water seems to help. not just a shower, i'm talking about -- guys, i have done the same thing, i have immersed myself in water today to help me process what i just don't seem to have a way to understand. and so i would recommend, you know, bathe your kids. throw them in the tub and make sure you get a bath yourself. and allow yourself to really feel what you're feeling and know that your kids are feeling
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it, too and let them be the guide. take the cues from them. but if you've got one that's really silent and stoic it is important to sort of sound them out on what they know, what they are aware of and how they feel about it, because it's going to be the national cover was on playgrounds, in office buildings, in schools, in america, for days to come. >> because, levar, we got to make sure our children know they're safe. so what's best way to communicate that to the kids? >> well, i'm all for letting them know that the person responsible for this is no longer a threat to anyone. we, the adults in the world are taking care of all the things that need to be taken care of in terms of the aftermath of this, but they need to know that they are safe and that they are going to continue to be safe.
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i recommend a lot of hugs. sit and read with your kids. it's a great way to pass this time. once, you know, i'm loving the fact that a lot of families around the country are really limiting their children's exposure and own exposure to the news coverage. we have to take breaks from it. it's really easy to become absolutely saturated and overwhelmed by it. so, these are all good thing to us remember. most of all, we have to just remember to be gent well ourselves and each other for a while. all sort of walking around open wounds. >> are there positive ways to address this trang guy children, perhaps when the children ask questions about the other children, when they ask questions about those 6 and 7-year-olds? >> it is always appropriate to acknowledge the feelings of children a lot of what i know i learned from the master, fred rogers, he was always one for meeting kids where they are and
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that's something that we can all do. and don't forget those hugs. >> how has the tragedy affect you had personally? >> it's difficult. i'm having a hard time with it. i really am. i'm having a hard time. and i think being able to express myself on it helps an awful lot. we -- we are all experiencing this together and we are in unchartered territory here, so in this moment, i'm -- i feel like i'm helping and so i am a -- i feel like i'm, you know, i'm fine. i'm functional, but i know at the same time, i'm altered. i'm different today than i was
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yesterday. >> not just you, i think all of us feel exactly the same way. i think you're speaking for a lot of people and i suspect that when we hear from the president tonight at this interfaith vigil right here in connecticut, he will be making some of those same points. levar burton, thanks very much for what you're doing. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> the president wrote his speech virtually all himself, not relying on speechwriters or anything like that tonight. >> i suspect also, as a father, as opposed to being president. he knows he has to comfort the nation right now, that is his responsibility, but he is also speaking from the heart as the father of two girls. we do have new information about how the suspected gunman got into the sandy hook elementary school. we just found that out a few moments ago from the connecticut state police and about the weapons he used in the rampage. that's next.
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welcome back. we are here following the aftermath of the horrific,
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horrific tragedy that happened friday morning, 9:30 a.m. friday morning, all of a sudden so a many lives changed and millions of people around the world, i think their lives changed as well. >> wolf, at that moment, i was overseas and i thought that it was a typo as i'm sure many people did that it was impossible to comp prehelped that my way back, there was people around every tv screen, watching cnn. >> you were in afghanistan with the secretary of defense? >> yes. >> all of a sudden, you think there's violence there there and's horrific violence right here in connecticut when you think about it. >> yes. >> police in noount here in connecticut just wrapped up a news conference on the mass shooting of the sandy hook elementary school friday morning. here's what we know right now investigators say the suspected gunman, the 20-year-old, adam lanza, fired hundreds of bullets, yes, hundreds of bills from multiple magazine he is from a bushmaster assault-style weapon. they also say that the assault weapon was main weapon used in this attack, in this mass
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murder. police also say the suspect's mother, nancy lanza, she died of what they are saying now multiple gunshot wounds, not just one, multiple gunshot wounds and they report that adam lanza died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound himself. >> the president is expected to arrive in newtown any minute now. we know that he has arrived in hartford, he just touk touched down in connect connect, literally, wolf, 30 minutes ago in a motorcade coming here, unable to take a helicopter because of the inclement wlchlt he will be meeting with families and first responders, he will be speaking at an interfaith vigil, the speech, we can tell you, he wrote himself. we will bring that service to you live in its entirety. begin at 7:30 eastern time and expected to last, wolf, 90 minutes. >> yesterday, i did meet with the minister, a ran bind others who are leading this vigil and they are grateful that the
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president decided in his role as what we call comforter and chief to come here, not only speak publicly and address the people here but address the nation and the world and also meeting privately with family members, with first responders and others. >> this is is a moment of grief that everyone's feeling, a hole and an emptiness. get to debra, feyerick in atlanta for some of the other major stories we are following on this afternoon. a frightening incident for shoppers at a mall parking not newport beach. [ gunfire ] no one was hit but one person did suffer minor injuries trying to get out of the area. the suspect is in custody. police is given no reason for the shooting. in egypt, the muslim brotherhood declares a narrow victory in the first round of a
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hotly contested constitutional referendum this is on the first week of voting. the rest of the country is expected to vote next weekend. election monitors report some claims of voter intimidation and also early poll closings. in london, the duchess of came bridge is attending her first public engagement since her pregnancy was announced this month. a spokesman says katherine is to appear at the bbc's sports personality of the year awards tonight. she was last seen december 6th leaving the hospital after several days of treatment for acute morning sickness. there's lots more news coming up, but right now, we want to go back to wolf blitzer, he is in newtown. and wolf, you are talking about healing and this service tonight and people just need so much time to just wrap their head around what has happened there. >> hard to believe what happened. i have been here now a couple days, deb, and i'm not even sure i understand completely the enormity of this huge, huge tragedy, a very, very sad story
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from a to. >> and i suspect it's -- as we get more and more details, it will just become even more shocking. the shootings here at the sandy hook elementary school have resparked also the debate across the country over gun control in america. today, lawmakers took to the air waves on the sunday talk shows to argue both sides of the controversy. >> it's so unbelievable and it only happens in america. and it happens again and again. kill them in hospitals we kill them in religious organizations, we kill them when they are young, we kill them when they're old and we just got to stop this. it's time for the president, i think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do. >> i'm going to introduce in the senate and the same bill will be introduced in the house, a bill to ban assault weapons, but the
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purpose of this bill is to get just what mayor bloomberg said, weapons of war off the street. >> i own a glock 23, i have got a shotgun, i am not the person you need worry about and there are millions of americans who deal with this properly. it is our second amendment right to do so. but we have to look at the mental health access. >> these are assault weapons, you don't hunt deer with these things. and i think that's the question a lot of people have to resolve in their own minds where should this line get drawn? >> every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited and hearing the heroic stories of the principal lunging, trying to protect chris, i wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and
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she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, his head off before he can kill those precious kids. >> i honestly think that that argument just doesn't hold water. when you think about it, are we talking about arming principals, arming teachers? is that going to make us a safer america? i don't think. >> so >> president obama's promising to take some action. right now it's unclear what he is going to do but the pressure certainly will mount in the coming days, weeks and months. as the people here in newtown try to come to terms with their grief, can religion provide comfort? a bible expert will show us what religious scripture has to offer. yo, give it up, dude! up high! ok. don't you have any usefull apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment
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this tragedy in newtown has brought people together to mourn and to comfort one another, through words and memorials, we are feeling the heartfelt emotions flowing through this town, not just this town, but around the country. >> died doing what you love, protect the kids. first we start off with a moment of silence. >> give user is rehnity to endure what sometimes may be
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unbearable. >> i want to tell people to keep faith in god because at these ti times, it is necessary. >> i thought i should come. >> that music "you will never walk alone." the killing of so many innocent children and their teachers has generated lots of grief and anger, these powerful feelings extend beyond the city of newtown. associate professor of emory university's chandler school of theology is here to talk about how religious text can provide some comfort, especially if this holiday season. thanks so much for being here.
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let's talk about grief and joy and how they are linked so tightly sometimes. >> the bible is full of text that links grief and sorrow and that try to work through those on the way to joy and happiness it is sold sele dom an easy road. >> we leak at grief, sorrow it is about vulnerability, about so many people feeling just so close to the edge. what does the buy bible tell us about walking through it, to the light? >> in matthew, the new testament, jesus' birth is accompanied by the slaught over children, king herrod so frightened of jesus, kills all the children in bethlehem up to 2 years of aim t is the slaughter of the holy innocents and the evil done, even at christmastime. >> you question how can this evil exist in the world, something that's so senseless,
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that normal people can't comprehend the depth over the evil. what does the bible say? >> the bible is full of texts that articulate this grief and sorrow over tran ditch the psalms probably the most articulate expressions of those, like my god, my god why have you forsaken me, why are you so far from my groaning, the words of mying an lish with fish? the bible shows through psalms that people are ho are religious fill the full emotional weight associated with tragedy and they pray in that tragedy because they need help. and the prayers also show that they frequently -- that those prayers frequently help, that the psalms end frequently in hope and confidence acres firming that god hasn't despised those who suffer but listened to them and attended to them and helped them. >> there is that question that so many people ask at a time like this. and that is how could this happen? how could got god less this
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happen? >> no easy anticipate to that question. all religions try to deal with the problem of suffering and evil one way or the other. but i think the bible holds precious several convictions. one is god is with us when we suffer. another is god really knows our suffering, listenens to it, see it is, experiences it, somehow help us through it maybe precisely through these tools of prayer and texts like the psalms, but there are two other things i think the bible is helpful on in this point. one is that the bible contains the hope that one day you god will set the world straight. and it's exactly events like this that lead to that conviction and that hope that we all need and want to live in a world where none of this ever happens again. the other thing the bible says is that in the mean time, we have a lot of work to do to help god set the world straight u and that work includes comforting those who mourn and also doing whatever we can to contain violence and restrict it and restrict evil so that none of us have to mourn like we do now.
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>> every good deed, every evil act a way to repair a broken world. brent strawn, thank you very much, thank you for being wuss wuss at a difficult time when people are looking for words of comfort, looking for ways to come together and unite and not feel as if they walk alone. thank you, appreciate it. >> thank you. connecticut police lash out against what they call crimes being committed on social media involving their investigation. what are those crimes? we will find out. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth.
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a stern warping from connecticut police today about social media. they say some posts are false and even threatening and authorities say they will levs
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story. >> listen to what police said. >> this information is being posted on social media sites. there has been misinformation coming from people posing as the shooter in this case, posing -- using her i.d.s, mimicking this crime and crime scene and criminal active that took place in this community there have been some things in somewhat of a threatening american. it is important to know that we have discussed with federal authorities that these -- these issues are crimes. they will be investigated statewide and federally and prosecution will take place when people perpetrating this information are identified. >> there could be some real new legal steps we haven't seep before and this raises a lot of
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questions. i want you-all to know we don't know which posts they are talking b we have all seep, those of us who cover this, have seen some posts out there that are or appear to be fake. not going to conjecture which they are talking about, because authorities won't say. when do you cross the line into something doing something illegal? to answer that i reached out to a cyberlaw expert. >> saying things about the connecticut shooting somewhat in a threatening manner that is not going to be actionable, for the most part. if you intentionally interfere with an investigation, mislead officers trying to conduct an investigation on purpose, well then, yeah absolutely, you're going to be prosecuted. another is where you intentionally create a public panic. but understand what the prosecution would have to show is the post or the tweet or
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whatever it happens to be was done intentionally, on purpose, in order to interfere with the investigation in order to create a public panic and is a relatively high bar to show. >> that was ryan caleb, a law pr professor with the university of washington and stanford's internet and society. i want to turn the wheel a little bit and tell you-all at the same time that social media is a central point of discussion and now part of the story. in the wake of what happened, one thing you are seeing is a lot of people debating gun laws now on face book and on twitter and what should be done about people who have mental illness. social media is also giving people a voice and in some ways, that way, wolf, doing a a lot of good, letting people voice their views. force what the crimes are we are going to stay all over this, wolf, and find out what it is that authorities are looking to crackdown there. >> jeff levels, thanks for that report. here in newtown, connect
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tragedy here in newtown, connecticut, brought people together, together in their grief to mourn. families who were affected and even the media, we all feel this >> just trying to comfort each other during these difficult times through words, memorials. we are all feeling the heartfelt emotion flowing through this town and indeed, around the country. as we end this hour, we want to pay tribute to those who lost their lives way too soon.
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>> just a tragic, tragic situation for the teachers, the principals, and those answer gems. that's all i keep thinking about is those angels. >> i mean, when things happen to your children, other people, i can't look at my children's faces now without seeing the faces of every one of their schoolmates.
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